Nothing makes me quite as happy as getting surprises in the mail (unless they are of the multiple-digit-bill kind, obviously).
So just imagine how I felt when I received this pretty lot from Kitchen Trotter last week. (Jumping up and down like an excited kid on Christmas morning. Exactly.)
Kitchen Trotter is a subscription box created with gourmet travellers in mind and a truly brilliant way to ‘travel’ on a budget and discover new flavours. It just launched in the UK and I could hardly be more excited.
Each month, you can discover the tastes of the world in your own kitchen with a box full of goodies, centred around a surprise international destination to cook from.
This month’s destination was Indonesia, and the first Kitchen Trotter box was a little ray of sunshine to brighten this cold, grey-ish January we’ve been having.
Shrimp paste, gado gado (a peanut-based sauce), combava leaves, pandan extract, lemongrass powder… All the basics I needed to start exploring Indonesian cuisine.
The only time I’ve ever had Indonesian food before was on a trip to Amsterdam, where Indonesian food is quite popular due to many Indonesian migrants having settled in the Netherlands.
It was at a tiny restaurant right overlooking the flower market, and I can still remember the vibrant, yet subtle flavours of the Soto Ayam soup I had then.
So it only makes sense that Soto Ayam (the Indonesian version of our chicken soup) would be the first dish I’d try making out of my Kitchen Trotter box.
Even more so since I’ve been struggling with colds and other stomach bugs lately, and spices- and turmeric-ladden soups are just what the doctor ordered!
(Not quite traditional) Soto Ayam (serves 2-3)
Ingredients: 200g diced chicken breast, 2 tbsp lemongrass powder, 3 combava leaves, 1 tsp sea salt, 1tsp black peppercorn, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 small shallots (peeled and halved), 1 small clove garlic (peeled), 2 tsp fined chopped fresh turmeric (or 1tsp ground turmeric), 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger, 1 tsp shrimp paste, about 150g cooked rice, 2-3 eggs, 1 lime, bunch spring onions
1. Put the chicken, the lemongrass powder, the combava leaves and the salt into a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender.
2. Remove the chicken from the broth, shred it roughly and set aside.
3. Strain the broth through a sieve, rince your pot and put the broth back on the stove.
4. Combine the black pepper, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, shallots, garlic, turmeric, ginger and shrimp paste together in a small food processor. Pulse until you get a thick, homogenous paste (add a little water if needed).
5. Cook your paste in a pan for about 5 minutes over high heat, then add to the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, cook your eggs for 6 minutes in boiling water. Place immediately into ice-cold water, remove shell and slice horizontally.
7. Share your rice and shredded chicken between 2 or 3 bowls. Strain the broth through a sieve, stir in some lime juice, then pour in the bowls. Garnish with sliced spring onions and soft boiled eggs and eat immediately.
(this also does a fantastic packed lunch btw, just make sure you pack your rice + chicken + broth separately from your garnishes. When ready to eat, simply re-heat the former, then add the garnish on top)
Have you tried Kitchen Trotter? Or Indonesian food? Any recipe I should check out?